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BKV Book Review: Marketing Analytics – A Practical Guide to Real Marketing Science

By Beverly Wright, PhD in BKV Marketing Book Reviews on March 31st, 2015

In his upcoming book Marketing Analytics, Mike Grigsby provides a new way of thinking about solving marketing and business problems with a practical set of solutions. We sat down with VP Analytics Director Dr. Beverly Wright  to get her thoughts on the book, and here’s what she had to say.

marketing analytics mike grigsby

Why Read Marketing Analytics?

Marketing Analytics is intended for practitioners across a variety of fields but rigorous enough to satisfy the appetite of scholars, as well. After a review of seminal work on consumer behavior and an overview of general statistics and statistical techniques, this relevant guide dives into realistic business scenarios with the clever use of corporate dialogue between Scott, our fictitious analyst, and his boss. As our protagonist progresses through his career, we see an improvement in his toolkit of analytical techniques. He moves from an entry-level analyst in a cubical to a senior leader of analytics  with a staff. The problems become more challenging, and the process for choosing the analytics to apply to the situations presented is an uncanny reflection of reality, at least based on my experiences in advanced data and analytics.

How Marketing Analytics Really Works

What I absolutely appreciate most about this work though is the full spectrum of problem solving rather than just analytics in a vacuum.  Mike walks us from the initial moment when a problem is identified, through communication of that problem, framing by the Analytics team, analytics technique selection and execution, communication of results, and usefulness to the company.  This rare and certainly more complete picture warrants a title such as Problem Solving using Marketing Analytics in lieu of the shorter title Mike chose.

Great Analytics Knowledge and Insight

Mike’s education includes a PhD in Marketing Science, but he also pulls from his vast experiences from his start as an Analyst through his journey to SVP of Analytics in order to walk the reader through the types of questions and business challenges that are faced in the analytics field on a regular basis.  His authority of the subject matter is obvious, and his enthusiasm is contagious and best captured by my favorite sentence of his book: “Now let’s look at some data and run a model, because that’s where all the fun is.”

This education and experience provides the rest of us with a well-informed author sharing insight into the realities of what is needed from the exciting work we do and how we can not only provide better decision-making, but also move the needle on important theoretical and methodological approaches in Analytics.

Analyze Your Consumers and Build a Strategy

More specifically, Marketing Analytics covers both inter-relational and dependency-driven Analytics and data modeling to solve marketing problems.  Mike argues that, ultimately, all markets rely on a strong understanding of the ever-changing, difficult to predict, sometimes fuzzy, and illusive minds and hearts of consumers. Anything we can do to better arm ourselves as marketers to develop this understanding is certainly time well-spent. Consumers can and should be the focal point of great strategy, operational standards of excellence and processes, tactical decisions, product design, and so much more, which is why it makes perfect sense to better understand not just consumer behaviors, but also consumer thoughts, opinions, and feelings, particularly related to your vertical, competitors, and brand.

Solve Common Marketing Analytics Problems

I certainly appreciate Mike’s motivations for the book – it is his way of giving back to the analytics community by offering advice and step-by-step guidance for ways to solve some of the most common situations and problems in marketing, and take advantage of opportunities.  He knows what works for entry, mid-level, and very experienced career analytics professionals, because this is the kind of guide he would have liked at these stages.  

Marketing Analytics is a must-read, as it  will have you rethinking your methods, developing more innovative ways to progress your marketing analytics techniques, and adjusting your communication practices.